D.C. sniper John Allen Muhammad executed

(CNN) — — Washington-area sniper John Allen Muhammad, 48, was executed Tuesday by lethal injection, a Virginia prisons spokesman said.

Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine denied a last-minute clemency request Tuesday for Muhammad, the mastermind behind the Washington-area sniper attacks of 2002 that terrorized the nation’s capital.

During three weeks in October 2002, Muhammad and accomplice Lee Boyd Malvo, then 17, killed 10 people and wounded three, while taunting police with written messages and phoned-in threats and demands.

“Having carefully reviewed the petition for clemency and judicial opinions regarding this case, I find no compelling reason to set aside the sentence that was recommended by the jury and then imposed and affirmed by the courts,” Kaine said in a written statement.

“Accordingly, I decline to intervene.”

Kaine’s announcement came a day after the Supreme Court declined to intervene in the case.

During two trials — including one featuring testimony from Malvo, whose youth meant he was not eligible for the death penalty — and in years of appeals, Muhammad professed his innocence.

Muhammad’s attorney had argued his client was not given sufficient time to file his final appeal, but said Tuesday — after the high court and the governor declined his request for a stay — that he would make no further efforts to delay the matter.

“We respect their decisions and will make no more legal efforts to stop this process from going forward,” said lawyer Jon Sheldon in a written statement. “In its effort to race John Allen Muhammad to his death before his appeals could be pursued, the state of Virginia will execute a severely mentally ill man who also suffered from Gulf War Syndrome the day before Veterans Day.”

Muhammad met Tuesday with J. Wyndal Gordon, who was his former stand-by attorney in his Maryland trial, in which he represented himself.

“His attitude was strong, it was sturdy,” Gordon told reporters. “Mr. Mohammad maintains his innocence in this case, and he always has. He is not remorseful, although he does extend his condolences to the families. What these families went through is tragic in every level. Given the injustices in this case, what Mr. Mohammad went through is equally as tragic.”

Gordon said he does not consider Mohammad to be insane. “However,” he added, “I am not a psychiatrist or a psychologist.”

The lawyer said Muhammad’s last meal was “chicken and red sauce, and he had some cakes.”

Gordon predicted earlier Tuesday that Muhammad’s strength would continue until his final moments.

“I expect that he will come into his death bed with this head held up high,” he said. “He is not a broken man and even on his death bed, he will express his righteous indignation for his own execution.”

Muhammad, who opted not to select a spiritual adviser, met during the afternoon with his immediate family. He was to meet with his attorneys later in the afternoon, said Larry Traylor, director of communications for the Virginia Department of Corrections.

Muhammad leaves four children and two ex-wives, both of whom appeared Monday on CNN’s “Larry King Live.”

Muhammad’s first wife, Carol Williams, showed a letter in which he asked her to visit him on his execution day. “Carol, I miss my family for the past eight years,” he wrote, referring to the time he has been incarcerated. “I don’t want to be missed the day that these devils murder my innocent black ass.”

Williams said Tuesday’s reunion was to be their first in years, though they had communicated by letter and spoken by phone.

“Basically he wanted me to just let his kids know that he loved them very much and to just tell me some different things, that he was sorry that he never gave our marriage a chance to work, because he was having an affair,” she said. “So basically he was just apologizing.”

Asked about his father, Lindbergh Williams said his feelings about the death penalty had not softened with the approach of the execution. “If you commit a crime, you can pay the time,” he said.

Asked whether he believes his father regretted what he did, the younger Williams said, “Yes, I really do.”

Mildred Muhammad, the sniper’s second ex-wife and the mother of three of his children, told CNN on Monday that she last saw him in 2001 at a custody hearing and had not sought to visit him in prison.

“I had emotionally detached from John when I asked him for a divorce,” she told CNN. “And my emotions were severed when he said that you have become my enemy and as my enemy, I will kill you.”

She has asserted that she was her ex-husband’s target, and she blamed the first Gulf War for changing his personality.

“He went from someone who was always happy, that knew what direction he was going in, and was focused, to a person that was totally confused, depressed all the time, and didn’t know how to do or get to where he wanted to be.”

She said he never received counseling after his return to the United States.

But lawyer Gordon disputed her account, saying that Muhammad “was absolutely not affected by his time in the Gulf War. We did discuss that.”

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